This house has one of the simpler yards we’ve worked with. It’s a very flat yard that comes up and creates a little hill and then goes down in the back. Instead of just popping the house on top of the hill, we wanted to have more of a connection with the yard. This is something I talk a lot about with our clients in architecture. How do we take the uniquenesses of the lot and let it inform the house design? We nestled the house down and created a beautiful stepping garden. It features a retaining wall with a large landing (take a few steps), then a large planting area (take a few steps), followed by a large patio (take a few steps), and ending at a soaring iron staircase that takes you to the front door. You may also step down to a secondary “friends” entrance – leading to the entertainment space on the lower level.

The house cuts back at a stepping angle to save a tree at the front left of the property. We had to get past the critical root zone and the drip zone of the tree, to protect and keep the tree healthy. This element of the yard had a significant impact on the architecture.

This is an open concept home. When you enter, there is a staircase down and a few steps up.

When you go up, you are in an open living and dining room. The kitchen, which overlooks the front yard, is just off the corner of the open space, visually connected. There are not a lot of upper cabinets in this kitchen, but there is significant lower workspace and wrap around storage cabinetry. At the far end of the space is a guest suite. At the other end is the master suite, which is hidden beyond the dining room.

The lower level of the house has two bedrooms suites and is connected by a common entertainment and living area, which connects to a large outdoor kitchen space and backyard. There is also an outdoor terrace off of the upper-level living spaces.

We were adamant about keeping the connection to the outdoors, so the majority of our rooms open up to the outdoors, versus just having windows that just look out. This home is called Nestled Modern Retreat because it’s nestled into the hillside and we tried to keep the forms very low. The organization of the house is more of mid-century architecture, built for a contemporary user.